Taieri farmer doing his bit

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Taieri dairy farmer Adrian Winward is happy to do his bit by providing an essential service during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“It is a nice feeling to know we are helping to keep the country going,” Mr Winward said.

Before the lockdown, his workday mostly focussed on the 96ha block in Riverside Rd, Outram, which he manages and lives on with his wife Maria. On the land he cares for dry stock – a mix of bulls, heifers and calves – and a winter grazing block.

The property was one of three owned by Taurima Farms on the Taieri.

On the other side of the Taieri River in Outram, Taurima Farms owns another nearly 100ha block in Allanton Rd, with similar dry stock numbers and winter grazing set up.

The third farm in Nichols Rd, Momona, 850 cows grazed on nearly 200ha.

Since the lockdown started, in a bid to limit the number of people on the dairy farm, he had taken on shifts milking the cows.

The move was to avoid having to use relief staff when the contractor milker had their days off.

Before the lockdown, the three farms were a hive of activity – a mix of fencing, vaccinations, drenching and the building of a new rotary cowshed in Momona.

The cowshed was on hold and now the way farm staff did their work had changed.
Facemasks and gloves were worn and People kept their distance from each other.

Ideally, only one person would use a vehicle during lockdown but if it was shared, the inside would be wiped down before changing users.

If fertiliser needed to be spread on a paddock, gates needed to be left open so a contractor did not get out of their truck and touch anything.

If a contractor needed to be talked to, it was on the phone rather than in person, he said.

“You don’t stop to talk to them.”

At first, the changes “took a little bit to get your head around” but now it was “second nature”.

“We do what we can to limit the spread [of Covid-19] – we’ve all got a part to play.”

He was enjoying living in a lockdown bubble with his wife Maria.

After the daily farm and house duties were done, the lockdown allowed time for the couple to “reconnect and have a laugh”.

“It’s been really quite good – you can get things done on the farm and have the time to be together.”